Amazon has introduced Dash, and as this feel-good video implies it’s only just another way to keep your family happy. It’s promoted as being for use with Amazon Fresh, their grocery business. Now I still quite like walking to the supermarket, but I can definitely see the appeal of this thing. Remember the suggestion that your fridge would automatically reorder milk when you were getting low: the Dash requires you to press a button while pointing at the item, but it’s surely a step on that road. Even if it is meant for grocery shopping, I don’t suppose there’s any law against taking it with you when you go to Barnes and Noble, or the library (or the shoe store, the clothing store etc.). Maybe Amazon have it disabled for use with book barcodes, but that would be simple to change.

The Amazon smartphone has been received as merely “a shopping machine”. Maybe we just have to accept that retailing is going to change, though I’ve not seen anyone with a Dash pointing at things in the supermarket yet. Of course, we have to recollect, post-Snowden, that this’d mean the contents of your fridge being known to, and perhaps analysed by, the National Security Agency. Perhaps there are still enough people who actually want to go into a store. No question where the economics point though. That’s a potent driver.